Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pizzas For Dinner Tonight.

I still had a few flag pictures left over from yesterday
so I thought I'd share them with you.

A nice end to the Fourth of July.

Fast forward to today.

Mr. Hawthorne and I took a trip to WalMart, Home Depot,
and Food Lion today.
Yes, an exciting day for me!

On the way back home, I shot these pictures of the rain clouds.

Isn't that a neat wall of rain?

I decided to cook pizza today for dinner.
Make that pizzas.

I started out with a basic dough and ended up with 4 different pizzas.

So, let's make pizzas, shall we?

I poured in a packet of yeast in about 1 cup of warm water.

Then, I sprinkled about 1 TB sugar on top.

Left the mixture alone for a few minutes so it can "proof."
See the bubbly?
That means the yeast is good.

Added a bit of flour.

Added an egg.
Hey, lookie.
Double yolkie!

Add enough flour to make a dough,
then turn it out so you can knead it.

During the kneading process, I add about 2 TB olive oil, salt, and enough bread flour to make a nice dough.

After kneading for about 20 minutes,
I have a nice ball of
smooth, elastic dough.

Set the dough in an oiled bowl.
Turn to cover dough in oil.
Cover with plastic wrap.

Now, here's my little trick.
I heat up a wet towel in the microwave for about 75 seconds.
Then I put my bowl o' dough in the towel inside the microwave to rise.
See all the steam?
Helps it rise.

After about an hour,
here's my dough.

Now here's Rosie, tossing and spinning her dough.
I am a professional.
Do not try this at home.

I carefully worked each ball of dough out into a pizza round, letting the dough rest, then working again, until I got nice thin crusts, with a lip on the outside.

I baked them until lightly browned in a 450-degree oven.

Whoot, baby!
I got four pizzas.

Now, let's start on my sauce.

First, I sauteed some onions and garlic in Land o' Lakes unsweetened buttah
and extra light Bertolli olive oil.

Add in a can of tomato sauce.

I went out to the garden to pick some herbs for the sauce.
Here, I have parsley, oregano, thyme, sage, and fennel.

Add the herbs to the sauce and just barely simmer over low, low heat.

Now, on to the individual toppings.

First up, I'm making pesto, for my pesto-based pizza.
I have basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, pecans, and olive oil.

Combine all in processor
and here's my pesto.

I poured boiling water over sun-dried tomatoes.

Here are my ingredients for my pesto pizza:
mozzerella cheese
red pepper slices
green onions
grape tomatoes
sun-dried tomatoes

First, a layer of pesto.

I made spokes of sun-dried tomatoes, encircled the pizza with red peppers, then added mozzarella cheese and grape tomatoes and sliced green onions.

Add some grated parmesan cheese and my pesto pizza is ready for the oven.

Next up, a barbequed chicken/corn/bean pizza.

Here's my "autopsy chicken,"
what was left over from last night, which ain't a hell of a lot.

Sliced onion and fresh corn on the cob.

Slice the corn off the cob, then add to sizzling butter.

Add in the chicken slices.

Add in the onion slices and cumin.

Finally, add in the leftover bean mix from last night.

Build up the corn/bean pizza.

Add slices of smoked provolone.
And this little pizza is ready for the oven.

Next up, your basic pepperoni pizza.

I slice my pepperoni, put the slices on paper towels, then nuke for about 1 minute to get a lot of grease out of them. The grease is absorbed by the paper towels, not the pizza.

So here's the pizza with sauce, cooked pepperoni, sliced black olives,
and some chopped green onions.

I topped the pepperoni/black olive pizza with a
combination of grated Monterey Jack and Swiss cheeses.

And this little pizza is ready for the oven.

Next up, Hawaiian Pizza.
I don't know why people call this Hawaiian Pizza.
Just because it has pineapple on it, maybe?

Imonna be a rebel and call it Fruit Pizza.

Here's the basic sauce, then I added deli ham and prosciutto, then pineapple slices.
Now, as I told you earlier, Mr. H. and I went to FoodLion this morning.
I bought a sliced spiral ham specifically for this pizza.
We get home and THERE IS NO HAM.
I HATE it when that happens.
Couldn't even find the receipt.
So I had to sub the deli ham and prosciutto.

Add some chopped red pepper.

And fill any hole with a cherry.

Sprinkle the top with one of those packages of shredded cheese mix.
I Sandra Lee'd it!

Here are my four pizzas.
Far left, my Fruit Pizza.
Top, original Pepperoni Pizza.
Right, my Pesto Pizza.
Bottom, my Corn/Barbequed Chicken/Smoked Provolone Pizza.

My four cooked pizzas.

Pepperoni/Black Olive.

Pesto Pizza.

Fruity Pizza.
(Pineapple and Cherry)

Corn/Barbequed Chicken/Mixed Bean/Smoked Provolone Pizza.

My tasting plate.

I had fun making pizzas today.
If you're going to the trouble of making pizza, not that making pizza is any trouble,
why not make one basic dough, divide it into several crusts, and create different toppings
for a bit of whimsy and just plain fun.

There are so many different toppings I thought of, I had a hard time deciding on my four.

I might just have to do this again.
Different toppings next time.

I think my favorite was the Pesto Pizza.
Then my Fruity Pizza.

They were all pretty darn good.

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